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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Mozart Piano Sonata in D - Theme with Variations

The theme is in a rounded binary form. The first eight bars, which repeat, make up a parallel period that is expository in nature. the last eight bars play around with the tonality, but, once again, it is a parallel period.
  • The first variation alters the rhythm to a triplet pattern. The left hand has a much less significant role, it has simple rhythms and basically simple chords. The theme still has the same form as in the actual theme section. The dynamics stay similar also.
  • The second variation has a significant change in that the left and right hands rely upon each other to deliver the theme. There are a lot of grace notes as ornamentation in the variation, and the rhythm is also varied from what we've seen previously.
  • The third variation seemed to have a quicker tempo from the particular recording I listened to. There is a steady flow of sixteenth notes and the beats are very solid.
  • The fourth variation has rhythms that change the overall lengths of the motives. It was also more difficult to hear the theme as clearly as we were able to in the past because there are more notes that were added as variant elements.
  • The fifth variation sounds like a simplification of the theme to me with the repetition of notes. We get the general gist of the motive, but we know it well enough by now to fill in the notes that aren't present.
  • The sixth variation has an interesting way of the motive being passed from the left hand to the right hand, all while the right hand has this sixteenth note pattern filling the space to make the variation more interesting.
  • The seventh variation is the first to not be in the key of D major, but in the parallel minor key instead. There is a much softer dynamic level and the the style and sound of this variation is a lot different than the others. It's difficult to pick the theme out at times.
  • The eighth variation is very fast. We have returned to the key of D major here. The theme is somewhat simplified again.
  • The ninth variation is very different rhythmically. The right and left hands complement each other and it's interesting to see how it fits together to make the theme present.
  • The tenth variation has the left and right hands performing opposite roles. While the right hand has lots of repeated sixteenth note figures, the left is playing the theme with much longer notes. These roles switch throughout the variation.
  • The eleventh variation is in 4/4 time instead of the previous cut time signatures. It is a much longer variation and is also at a slow tempo, which makes it really stick out. There is a lot of ornamentation present.
  • The twelfth variation is in 3/4, which is extremely different after being in cut time for most of the piece. It's extremely fast.

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